Vijay Goel updates Media on the Rio Olympics


Minister of State (I/C) for Youth Affairs and Sports Shri Vijay Goel has forwarded the following statement to the media:

“The largest ever contingent of sportspersons is taking part in the Rio Olympics 2016 being organized from 5th to 21st August 2016.  101 athletes whose events are in the earlier days of Olympics calendar have already reached and remaining are also on their way.   This is the first time in the history of Olympics that on the request of Government of India and IOA, International Olympic Committee has agreed to provide Indian cuisine in the Olympics Village Games Kitchen.  The will help players feel at home and is expected to bring out better performance.

            There are certain minor issues related to Indian contingent which have appeared in media-

(1)   The Hockey team has asked for T.V. and additional furniture (chair and table).  Providing such fixers and furniture is the responsibility of local Organizing Committee i.e. Rio Olympic Organizing Committee.  They have decided to provide Bean Bags instead of chairs.  However One crore rupee has been transferred to Indian Embassy in Brazil for buying any additional items for the Indian contingent.

(2)   The Jersey size issue for a few Hockey players is being sorted out by IOA and Hockey India.

(3)   The reports of lack of proper rapport between Leander Paes and Rohan Boppana are not true.  Both of them share good on-field relationship.

(4)   Draw of lots for Tennis is difficult, but we have confidence in our players.

(5)   There are some reports that some women athletes would prefer to wear sarees alone instead of blazer over sarees.  This issue is to be decided by IOA and as per International Olympic Committee norms for Opening Ceremony.

My officers are available at Rio as well as in Delhi to attend to the problems of athletes.  Indian Embassy in Brazil is providing all necessary support.  All small issues are being attended to by our officials in consultation with IOA, Federations and Rio Olympic Committee.

This has been the first Olympics in which Government has made efforts to connect the Olympics with the common man and youth so that there is an environment and fervor of Olympic Games in the country which will push the sports among youth which is good for the country in the long run.

To achieve this objective, Ministry of Youth Affairs and Sports have organized Run for Rio which was flagged off by PM in which 20000 school going children took part.  In addition, Ministry has organized a “WALL OF BEST WISHES” at India Gate Lawns where common people can post their Best Wishes to the Rio participants Indian athletes, twitter handle #Khelo India @ India Sports can be used to change the background of icon of twitter account with the spirit of Rio.

Today  we are inaugurating an Olympic exhibition which will be held till 21st August 2016 at different locations of NDMC and MCD areas.  In these locations, giant size screens have been put so that people in large group can watch Olympics games as they happen.

Unprecedented efforts have been undertaken in preparations of Rio Olympics by the Ministry of Youth Affairs and Sports by launching special schemes, such as Target Olympic Podium through which customized training with 34 Foreign Coaches and foreign exposure was provided to all athletes qualifying for Rio.  In addition, daily allowance of the athletes has been doubled to 100$, extra physiotherapists masseurs have been sent to Rio. Mental Trainers have been provided to athletes for getting a winning attitude.  An amount of Rs.160 crore has been spent on preparations of the athletes for the Rio Olympics making an average of more than Rs. one crore on each athlete who has qualified.  Athletes have been sent to Rio well in advance of around average 15 days so that they can acclimatize and feel comfortable unlike earlier Olympics where they were going just 2 to 4 days before the beginning of the events. “ wishes all the players the very best .

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